Thursday, September 22, 2016

brain gym

relaxed peplum top and pants, Old Navy
J. Crew necklace, eBay
cardigan, Gap Outlet

     I'm not quite sold on the peplum yet - and according to reddit's femalefashionadvice forum they are "out" - but it's nice to have a plain white top. I have owned a number of white tops, from tees to buttondowns, and they always end up languishing in the closet, unloved and unworn. I know they're supposed to be a classic, but I always end up wearing something else because they seem so ... plain. My hope is that the peplum adds enough interest that I will get some use out of this shirt!    
      I read a book on the growth mindset last year, and am trying to take small steps to incorporate the growth mindset into my classroom. Once a week I post a "Brain Gym" math problem, which is supposed to be a challenge and encourage students to persevere and stretch themselves academically. Wednesday was not a Brain Gym day, but one of my students noted that while the problem wasn't as challenging as a Brain Gym problem, he felt as if his brain had "taken a jog around the neighborhood." Ha! So far I am liking this bunch. 

Monday, September 19, 2016


blouse and Harper trousers, Old Navy
cardigan, Gap Outlet

       Bright pink and cobalt aren't colors I would usually wear together, but the print pulls it together, I think.  
       I'm headed back to Hawaii in early October for a short and sweet trip - going to attend a wedding and spend time with family. The wedding dress code is "aloha attire," and I don't own anything in aloha print. Thus, I've been browsing etsy and eBay for something fun and pretty. Here are a few of the pretty things I found ... can you guess which one is my favorite? It's the most expensive item on my eBay watch list, alas!


Friday, September 16, 2016


shirt, Old Navy
cardigan, Gap Outlet
pants, Macy's

    The other day, I taught a lesson that used lemons to teach scientific observation. After students made their observations, I had them turn the lemon in - the next step was to mix them up and have students find their lemon using their notes. 
    I half-jokingly instructed the kids to bid a "fond farewell" to their lemons as I came around with the plastic bag. I had to smile to myself as every kid held up their lemon in front of their face and told it goodbye. 
   I'm still reveling in working in a temperature-controlled environment - I always keep my black cardigan at work and wear it regularly. It is cooling down just a bit, and I find myself tempted to expand my cardigan collection. The three I own now, however, work well with my wardrobe so I will try to wait a bit. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

cows and composition books

Tommy Hilfiger dress, Ross
Haitian Beads earrings

       Friday was Picture Day at school. I have to admit that I totally forgot - I would have worn lipstick (vs. tinted lip balm) and worn my hair down otherwise! I might have also switched out my gigantic earrings for more restrained ones. Just one more dorky school photo to add to my collection, I suppose.
      I will henceforth call this dress my "composition book dress," since one of my students commented that I looked like a composition book. I didn't think about it when I bought it, but I can see how the small floral print resembles the spotted cover of a notebook. Another student chimed in that I also looked like a cow, but I'll overlook that one ... ;) 

     I know you can't tell with the headless photos, but I've been wearing makeup to work for the last three weeks, which I think is the longest amount of time that I've worn makeup consistently. The makeup, admittedly, is minimal - foundation, mascara on curled lashes, and tinted lip balm. I'm happy with this amount for now - after 3 weeks, I can slap this on by rote, but I was thinking that I'd eventually like to branch out a bit. My makeup goals: 
  •  find a good primer. I had an ELF one that made me look smooth and glowy, but also left my skin red. Right now I just use Aveeno moisturizer then apply organic sunscreen. 
  •     find a lipstick that doesn't dry my lips out. I don't mind the color (singular, ha!) I have, but I have trouble wearing it for a full week - after a day or two, I have to switch back to lip balms.
  •      amp up the eye makeup a bit. I'm still confused on how to best apply makeup for my kind of eye, and liquid eyeliner terrifies me. I also need an eyeshadow primer to combat creasing. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

August purchases

    So ... new job with dress code means some major shopping happened in August.

Alfani curvy-fit petite trousers, Macy's, $40; Stylus twill crop pants, JcPenney (also purchased in navy, $30 for both); Plus Court tapered crop pants, Old Navy, $15.

swing mesh sweater, Old Navy $8; hi-lo top, Old Navy, purchased with rewards; August Silk shell in hyper blue, Macy's, $15

Clockwise: Moulinette Soeurs silk dress, Savers; $13; Tommy Hilfiger black and white print dress, Ross, $17; Ann Taylor blue silk top, Savers, $3; Willi Smith heather green V-neck tee, TJMaxx, $10; Elie Tahari black and white print silk top, Opportunity Village thrift, $4; BJewel top, Savers, $6

Stylus sleeveless swing dress, JcPenney, $11 on clearance; Clarks Crewso Reading pump in nude, Amazon, $50; Clarks Preslet Stone, Amazon, $50

The haul: 
4 pairs of pants: 2 black, 1 khaki, 1 navy
3 dresses: 1 solid, 2 printed
7 tops: 4 solid, 3 printed
2 pairs of shoes
Total spent: $272

   Admittedly, this was a lot of money to spend in one month, but the majority of the money went toward items I truly needed, such as work pants ($85) and shoes ($100).  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

the good things

Stylus sleeveless dress, JcPenney, $10.79
Haitian Beads necklace

   Perfect dress for a Monday ... easy-fitting and lightweight. Definitely casual, but it looks better fancied up with a bright necklace and cardigan. It has a cute lace/crochet detail on the straps, too: 

     Life is good right now. I have books to read (working on Cheryl Strayed's "Wild"), fourth-graders to love and teach (and a ton of new curriculum to figure out - *sigh), and a container of Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups in the fridge. And, quite a few pretty new things in the closet ... stay tuned for a massive August budget update!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

taking stock: my current closet

    As part of the process of moving, I purged pretty ruthlessly. I thought it would be interesting to take stock of exactly what's left. I admit, it's much less time-consuming to just look in my closets and drawers (haha!), but at the same time, it's kind of nice to have it laid out this way. Disclaimer: I did leave a number of things at my mom's house, for instance, a few long-sleeve tops and items I could wear on a visit home, but this represents what I have with me in Vegas at the moment.

TOPS (includes cardigans and kimonos)

L-R top: American Eagle Outfitters tank, Forever 21 top, Old Navy top
L-R bottom: Style & Co. top, Express top (thrifted), BCBG silk top (thrifted)
L-R top: Old Navy tee, American Eagle Outfitters mesh tank, Home tee
L-R middle: Old Navy charcoal gray tank and kimono made by me; Old Navy blue tank; H&M tank
L-R bottom: yellow Gap Outlet cardigan, pink print kimono, cobalt Gap Outlet cardigan
L-R: Angie kimono, Old Navy graphic tee, Tommy Hilfiger teacup print sleeveless top
L-R: Old Navy gray embroidered top, Gap striped tee, Banana Republic tank

Not shown: wine-colored loose sweater top (worn here) and black Banana Republic cardigan.

The breakdown:
18 shirts
3 cardigans (black, cobalt, yellow)
3 kimono tops

Possible future needs: It doesn't get terribly cold here in Vegas during the winter, but it'd be nice to get a sweater or two. Depending on what kind of job I end up with, I may need to get a few tops, perhaps solid-colored. I'd also like to get a red cardigan (gave away the one pictured due to fit) because it goes so well with all of the blues in my closet.


L-R, top to bottom: Old Navy 5-inch inseam shorts, Tommy Hilfiger chambray shorts, i Jeans by Buffalo Bermuda shorts (I have a second pair in denim), pink pineapple print Old navy shorts
    I actually wear my distressed Old Navy denim skirt 95% of the time when I leave the house on the weekend or to run errands, so I don't think I need any more pairs.


L-R: Indigo Rein cuffed jeans, Jolt cargo pants, Calvin Klein petite straight leg jeans (I also have a pair in regular sizing), Old Navy Harper trousers.
  Pants *sigh.* Why is it so hard to find a decent-fitting pair? I got away with wearing my cuffed jeans and straight leg jeans to work due to a very casual dress code, but I don't think I can get away with it here.
   I've moved away from skirts in the last few years (kind of funny, as my first post featured a pencil skirt!), but I'm reconsidering - it seems easier to find a decent-fitting skirt that's work-appropriate.
Possible future purchases: One or two pairs of work pants and maybe a skirt or two. I also miss my pair of white jeans - I gave them away because they didn't fit anymore. I also miss my black-and-white patterned drapey pants, which I gave away because they were a bit too short. I didn't wear them too often, since the majority of my tops are patterned, but they were lightweight, comfortable, a different silhouette, and the only patterned pants I owned.


L-R: Hourglass Lilly swing dress (thrifted, and always worn with leggings); Tommy Hilfiger knit dress; Alfani shirtdress (thrifted)

L-R: Jones New York knit dress (have a second one - same cut, different print); Chaudry maxi; Maison Jules embroidered dress
L-R: BCBG silk dress (thrifted); Old Navy fit and flare jersey dress; Threads 4 Thought hi-lo hem dress
Dresses: 10
  I've come to really appreciate a good dress - it's such a quick way to get dressed and look put-together. I'm always on the hunt for a good cotton dress - nothing beats cotton for comfort.


Possible future purchases: I'd like to get a couple of pairs of slightly dressy but comfortable sandals for work wear, and maybe a boot and/or oxford for cooler weather.